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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  April 25, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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on our broadcast tonight, testing the limits of arizona's tough immigration law. how far can police go to protect the borders? dropping out. newt gingrich decides to quit the race for president. what that could mean for the real matchup. >> the cover up. more revelations in the john edwards trial. a grilling for the star witness. and made in the usa. the newest effort to bring jobs back to america. we'll show you what some former autoworkers are making these days. "nightly news" begins now. good evening. tonight at the supreme court, an emotional debate that is playing out across the country. who is allowed to be here? how far can police go to protect the borders if they have reason to believe someone is here illegally? the case argued before the court today concerns a controversial
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law in arizona. allowing police to ask you about your citizenship, but five other states have similar laws, so the court's decision on this one will have a national impact. our justice correspondent pete williams starting us off tonight at the supreme court. pete, good evening. >> brian, the most controversial parts of the arizona law were immediately challenged in court and blocked, but judging from today's argument, the state may soon be able to start enforcing some of them. outside the court today, demonstrators loudly conveyed the emotion generated by the immigration battle. frustrated by what it considered lax federal enforcement and illegal immigrants streaming across its border to stay, arizona decided to get tougher. >> we needed protection for the citizens of arizona and what arizona was experiencing as far as the cost element in education and health care and incarceration. >> a state law passed two years ago, required police making
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arrests or traffic stopped to check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being here illegally and detain them until their status was verified. the obama administration sued, arguing that arizona bulled its way into an area of federal responsibility. >> it's really a matter of whether we want to be a single nation or have 50 different nations each with their own immigration policy. >> the federal government said it's concentrating on the most dangerous illegal immigrants, those who commit crimes and that arizona would flood the system with anyone who simply fails to have the right papers. but today, a majority of the court seemed to have no problem in police checking the status of people they arrest and releasing them if federal authorities don't want them held. it seems to me, chief justice john roberts said, the federal government just doesn't want to know who is here illegally or not. what does state sovereignty mean, asked an tonn scalia, if
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it doesn't include the ability to defend your borders? stephen breyer said the law could be upheld if the status checks would not detain people, including u.s. citizens, any longer than they would otherwise be held after a routine arrest, and after the justice department lawyer said the arizona law would lead to harassment of latinos, sonya sotomayor said you can see that argument is not selling very well. two other parts of the arizona law did not seem to fare as well today. they would make it a state crime for illegal immigrants to look for work or to fail to carry federally required papers. brian. >> pete williams starting us off from the supreme court. pete, thanks. now to presidential politics. word from newt gingrich that he's ready to end his campaign for president a day after mitt romney swept five primary contests. our chief white house correspondent political director chuck todd has our report. newt gingrich today bowed to the political reality. >> i think obviously that i would be a better candidate, but
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the objective fact is that the voters didn't think that. >> gingrich, the last major republican challenger said he would suspend his campaign early next week. after a five-state primary sweep tuesday, mitt romney gave a lot what sounded like a mini acceptance speech last night. >> i can say with confidence and gratitude you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility. >> the speech had little about romney policies and instead made a case against president obama, even trying to turn bill clinton's famous 1992 catch phrase into an asset. >> it's still about the economy, and we're not stupid. >> well, romney hopes to turn this election into a referendum only on the economy. he still has a lot of work to do with some voters according to our pollsters, including democrat peter hart. >> mitt romney obviously has to be able to talk, relate, and relax. that means younger voters just really don't relate to him very well. they see him as wealthy, but
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they don't see him as someone they can talk to and relate to. >> it's no accident that the president has spent the last two days courting young voters in battleground states like iowa, hoping to reenergize the same supporters who propelled him into office four years ago. >> helping more young people afford college should be at the forefront of america's agenda, and it shouldn't be a republican or democratic issue. this is an american issue. >> it's been a coordinated push by the president this week to target young voters. he's the cover interview on "rolling stone" and he even slow jammed the news with jimmy fallon on "late night" on tuesday. >> the reason it's so important to keep down costs is so we keep college affordable. >> and the president knows his stuff, y'all. >> well, late today, speaker boehner tried to blunt the president's populous youth vote on the student loan issue by announcing a new plan to keep the lower interest rate for another year. where does boehner find the money to pay for the extension?
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out of the president's health care law, brian, so the politics of this issue is far from over. on capitol hill, a congressional hearing on this secret service prostitution scandal which has badly harmed the reputation of the men and women who protect our presidents, and today, homeland security secretary janet napolitano called the whole thing inexcusable. kelly o'donnell reports. >> today, the first public review of the secret service prostitution scandal. >> all of us are shocked and terribly troubled by it. >> think it really shook the trust of a lot of people. >> secretary of homeland security, janet napolitano, promised answers. >> we are going to get to the bottom of this. we're going to make sure that standards in training, if they need to be tightened, are tightened. >> the scandal in cartagena involving prostitutes has cost eight members of the secret service their jobs, perhaps a ninth. three others face reprimand.
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today, one nagging suspicion. senators repeatedly asked if secret service agents have behaved this way before. >> hadn't been an argument between one of the agents and i guess a prostitute, for lack of a better word, about money, we would have probably never known about this. >> napolitano said investigators have found no other instance in the past few years. >> every mother of a teenager knows a common defense is, well, everyone else is doing it,io know, so i get to do it. first, not everybody else was doing it. and second, this behavior is not part of the secret service way of doing business. >> the president appearing on "late night with jimmy fallon" praised the secret service overall and used a lighter tone. >> a couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do, but what these guys were thinking, i don't know. that's why they're not there anymore. >> a dozen military service members are also linked to prostitutes in cartagena. a new detail, officials said the
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fact that curfews were broken that night was known up the chain of command. but a frustrated john mccain said the pentagon is not providing answers fast enough. >> i expressed my extreme dissatisfaction with the lack of any concrete information that was provided to us from a national security standpoint. >> and brian, secretary napolitano said the president's security was not at risk, but she adds that this kind of misconduct could make agents vulnerable to things like blackmail, and that could be dangerous. >> kelly o'donnell on the hill tonight. kelly, thanks. >> this was another dramatic day in a court room in greensboro, north carolina. at the john edwards trial, the prosecution star witness was once again on the stand, telling more stories about just how far he says she was asked to go to cover up the money trail and hide an affair. and as nbc's lisa myers reports tonight, the witness came under tough questioning from the edwards defense team. >> edwards' longtime aide and
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now chief accuser andrew young, arrived today knowing his credibility would come under attack, and it did. he admitted discrepancies between his tell-all book and his testimony under oath. saying he rushed the book and has had more time for research. but edwards' lawyer showed the jury young's book proposal with its claim that every word in the book is provably true. and pilloried young with a long list of misstatements and inconsistencies, including he claim that edwards didn't call his mistress the day their child was born. do you know in fact john edwards called her in the delivery room? young said he wasn't aware of the call. at one point, lowell said, you really hate mr. edwards, don't you? young replied, i have mixed feelings. >> the overall effect of the aggressive, and at many times, effective cross-examination really a grilling, was likely to undermine andrew young's credibility in the eyes of the jury. >> young's wife sherry showed up
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at the courthouse for the first time today, expected to testify soon, to buttress her husband's account. young also testified about the deteriorating relationship between him and edwards after hunter gave birth and edwards failed to publicly admit the child was his. young said their final conversation was in august 2008. he said edwards told him his wife elizabeth had taken away his car keys and cell phone, and that his life was living hell. young said, i got very angry. i told him if he wasn't going to live up to his promise to come clean, i would do something about it. he said edwards replied, you can't hurt me, andrew. you can't hurt me. legally, the jury must decide whether it believes young's claim that edwards knew about almost a million dollars used to cover up his affair. and whether that amounted to illegal campaign contributions. lisa myers, nbc news, greensboro, north carolina. >> and overseas today in london, one of the most powerful media
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moguls in all of the world was on the spot. 81-year-old rupert murdoch testifying in hearings triggered by a phone hacking scandal at one of his tabloid papers, but for hours today, the questions focused on whether mr. murdoch has abused his considerable power of the press. our report from nbc's stephanie gosk. >> rupert murdoch is in the hot seat again. defending news corp. >> i welcome the opportunity because i want to put certain myths to bed. >> but today's focus was not widespread phone hacking at the now defunct news of the world. instead, he faced accusations he abused the power of his media empire to influence the british government for decades. >> politicians, let's be clear, always seek the support of all newspapers. that's part of democracy. >> he denied he used the influence for commercial gain. >> i've never asked the prime minister for anything. >> but evidence revealed in his son james' hearing on tuesday
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triggered this admission from prime minister david cameron. >> we all did too much cozying up to rupert murdoch. >> one of the top ministers allegedly opened improper lines of communication with news corp. at the same time, he was considering the company's multibillion bid to purchase british broadcaster bskyb. news corp's feet are being held to the fire at the hearings. it's not the only obstacle the company faces. there are three ongoing criminal investigations. so far, 43 people have been arrested, and of those, 11 could soon face criminal charges. more than 100 lawsuits have been filed in the uk. more may soon be filed in the u.s. and that is perhaps news corp's executives biggest fears. news corp based in the u.s. has global reach worth an estimated $60 billion, it owns influential u.s. media companies, including
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20th century fox, the wall street journal, and fox news. tonight its 81-year-old founder in chief gets ready for another round of grilling in the morning, and another reminder that the scandal is far from over. stephanie gosk, nbc news, london. also in the uk tonight, a tantalizing statement from scotland yard. madeleine mccann, whose disappearance during a family trip to portugal almost five years ago, caught worldwide attention, could conceivably still be alive. that possibility was floated as police released a new computer generated image showing what she might look like today at almost 9 years old. scotland yard is urging portuguese police to reopen their investigation and pursue what they say are 200 outstanding leads. still ahead along the way for us tonight, made right here at home with people who used to make american cars now making something else we all use. and later, trees. lots of them, transforming a concrete jungle, making a big difference for the people who live there.
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it's hard to think of anything more universal in american homes than a television, but it's rare to find an american made television anymore. you would almost have to travel back in time a couple decades. that is starting to change, and that in this case, means jobs in this country. our report tonight from nbc's kevin tibbles. >> assembly lines are synonymous with detroit, but these people aren't making cars. they're making televisions. >> the line is sold out until the end of the year. >> sold them all? >> sold them all. >> element electronics have moved the assembly of the larger televisions from asia to the motor city. you would be hard pressed to find a living room in america that doesn't have a tv. but try finding a tv that is made in america. you can't. all the big american manufacturers left or went under years ago. >> zenith, the quality goes in
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before the name goes on. >> and while labor costs are higher, element said lower tariffs and transportation costs mean making tvs in america once again makes economic sense. good news in a region that has taken a beating. jobs easy to come by? >> in the detroit area, no. >> here, former autoworkers are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's in hd. >> me and my husband both lost our jobs at one point. so it was tough for a while. >> initially, element is starting small, only 100 jobs, but plans to expand and attract parts manufacturers so components don't have to be imported. competitors are watching. >> there's certainly more people behind us in line on the diving board than there are in the pool, but we have done our homework and we're ready to do this. >> when they hit the stores they'll be hard to miss. the 46- and 50-inch models come in boxes as patriotic in appearance as old glory. they also come wrapped in hope.
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>> it's been hard on us, but we're going to make it. >> and tvs could be the beginning. >> absolutely. everyone needs a tv. >> here, they're hoping it's one made in america. kevin tibbles, nbc news, canton, michigan. up next here tonight, also made in america, louis armstrong and a performance the world is just now getting to hear.
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♪ one of the great artists, one of the great american originals of all time who left us a long time ago, is about to entertain us with something new. louis armstrong was just five months from the end of his life when he gave an impromptu concert in 1971 at the national press club in washington. he sang and played the trumpet, he had the hanky out, the whole
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nine yards. what a joy for those in the room for it. it became folklore in the music business because they knew there was a recording of it, and now we get to by it, hear the master all these years later. 11 tracks, one hour long, available this week on itunes and wherever music is sold, as they say. in washington state, government officials and health and environmental experts met today to talk about what to do about the estimated 1.5 million tons of debris from the japanese tsunami and earthquake floating in the pacific. it can't be stopped. it's on its way here and it may end up on the west coast sooner thou wthe ght. maybe as soon as this year. today's meeting is aimed at coming up with ways to report on it, protect people from whatever comes washing ashore. another collision between nature and machine. another commercial jet has been hit by a bird. this time, it was just last night. a jetblue flight from westchester to west palm. second such incident in the new
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york area in just six days. it was hit by a goose in flight after takeoff, and again, it managed to circle back around and land safely. it was a big mess, fatal to the bird, but just superficial damage to the aircraft. plane is back in the air tonight having checked out a-okay. and in case any of our friends in canada thought they saw a dog make a cameo appearance during the news the other night, that's exactly what happened. it was on canada's global news. the dog, a good dog named storm, belongs to the weatherman, who was just curious to find out what all the fuss is about in the tv business. up next here tonight, green where there used to be just gray. how trees are making a difference for a lot of people. h
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time now for our "making a difference" report. and tonight, it's about a woman who had a good idea for battling dirty air and despair, and doing it one tree at a time. our chief science correspondent robert bazell has the story from oakland, california. >> spring is blossoming all around oakland, california's, inner city. a place better known for graffiti, crime, and unemployment. >> is this for the next tree planting? >> a former prison guard had a
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vision that trees could help solve the problems. she started a program called urban releaf. >> we have a lot of young people in crisis and in need of jobs. our solution is to have them help the environment. >> we can plant those. >> urban releaf employees only 10 people, but hundreds more volunteer. attracted by the idea of restoring pride in the appearance of their environment. >> we're turning it from a concrete jungle to a green oasis. >> before you can see this barren sidewalk outside one oakland school, and this is what it looks like now. urban releaf has planted more than 15,000 of these trees in the past 12 years. >> groups of trees. >> urban releaf's gregory tarver, a forestry expert, teaches school kids that the benefits of trees go beyond their beauty. >> they can reduce heating and pollution in the area, they reduce the ambient temperature so it's cooler in the urban area and the air is fresher.
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>> volunteer marcus evans grew up in the area. and says there wasn't much to do before this program came along. and he is interested in studying trees and forests. >> i would like a job. it was fun. honestly, this is my first time planting trees and i like it. >> and evans says he's proud to be making oakland better for his baby daughter destiny. >> when i show my daughter these, i can be like, daddy planted those. >> year by year, tree by tree, dotting blocks with bits of green, she and her crew from urban releaf are growing hope on these city streets. robert bazell, nbc news, oakland. >> nice story to end on for a wednesday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams, and the evening is not over. we hope to see you right back here tonight for "rock center" at 9:00, 8:00 central, and of course, tomorrow evening back here for "nightly news." good night.
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and good evening, everyone. i'm jessica aguirre. >> and i'm raj mathai. the rain has arrived. the bay area getting wet as we speak. two systems rolling into town for this midweek storm. let's bring in our chief meteorologist jeff ranieri who is tracking the timing of this rain from our nbc bay area weather center. >> doppler radar shows us picking up our first rain drops while this is not a strong storm it's a may skror departure from what we had this weekend where temperatures were record setting in the 80s and the 90s as we zoom in what you'll find is some of this activity in south san jose near downtown, also near cambria park.

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